25/10/2013 by Sarah Ritchie
The following is a blog post that I wrote for the Design Assembly website, 25 October 2013.
Mat and I work together and I have been able to observe this talented man in action first-hand. It is a privilege to be surrounded by creative people like Mat. As he himself says: “collaboration is a cool thing”. That it is!
Beware: the Cardboard Ninja is taking New Zealand by stealth.
It’s not every day you meet someone like Mat Bogust. He’s uber-talented, super-nice, and literally one-of-a-kind. As far as he knows there is no-one else who does what he does in New Zealand. So, what exactly does he do?
Mat is a cardboard engineer/whizz/magician. Whether you are launching a new product, need a new look for a promotion, or just want something different that is sure to impress, if it’s made out of cardboard, Mat can make it happen.
Typical projects include: DM pieces, point of sale features, creative packaging, promotional items and giveaways, novelty creations, giant animals, cardboard furniture, and – no – he is NOT involved with the Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral (before you ask).
Growing up in the UK, Mat wanted to be a graphic designer but didn’t want to go to university, and found himself playing more football than he attended classes. After a stint as a builder, Mat realised that he enjoyed the concept of construction, but that hammering fences all day didn’t inspire his creative side. He needed a way to combine both worlds.
17 year old Mat secured a packaging/sample maker job, and was categorically told it had nothing to do with graphic design. Moving on a whim (a strong personality trait in Mat’s youthful and carefree days), he thought the job sounded cool, and that was that. The job provided the perfect harmony between construction and making cardboard look awesome.
After 9 years as a cardboard designer, then traveling and snowboarding, Mat landed in sunny Nelson, made friends and stayed. He looked for the type of work he was used to doing in the UK, but no company was offering that kind of service. He shuddered at the thought of working in a dusty room making cardboard boxes, so his wife – Jane – encouraged him to start Think Packaging, 3 years ago.
Mat now lives Auckland. He is located in the Image Centre Group, working alongside Image Centre’s clients for two days a week, and working on his own projects. Agencies love to join forces with Mat. Mat specialises in structure and die lines whilst the agencies specialise in the artwork. “Collaboration is a cool thing“, says Mat.
His latest creative venture, Rest In Pets, was given the nod as a finalist in the recent Innovators Awards 2013, in the Innovation in Marketing and Communications category. Rest In Pets is a respectful and novel way to bid farewell to our furry, feathered and finned friends.
Whilst living in Nelson, Mat was inspired to make a small cardboard coffin (thanks Hell’s Pizza). Time took over and he shelved the idea until Jane suggested he look at the Rest In Pets concept once more.
Mat then undertook an incubation period with Icehouse in order to ensure his business was set up correctly from the beginning. Through Icehouse Mat worked alongside a mentor, developed branding with Curious Design Consultants, put the idea on Kickstarter, and the rest is recent history! Rest In Pets will be available through Pet Doctors, selected vet clinics and online from January 2014.
Mat started Think Packaging for Kiwis to experience what can be achieved with creative cardboard construction, and he’s all about opportunities. Mat says “if someone comes to me saying “we’re on this wicked adventure and we want you to be part of it”, then I’d listen.”
If you’d love to embark on a wicked adventure with Mat, give him a call!
021 161 3628 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.thinkpack.co.nz | Facebook: /Think-Packaging | Twitter: @mat_bogust